Average tax refund so far: $3,034

March 6, 2014: 2:56 PM ET
tax return
So far this year, tax filers are getting more Benjamins back from Uncle Sam than they did a year ago.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Four weeks into tax season, the IRS paid out more than 48 million refunds, at an average of $3,034 a pop. That's up 3% from the average refund paid during the same period last year, the agency said Thursday.

All together, the IRS sent out roughly $147 billion in refunds between Jan. 31 and Feb. 28, the majority of which was direct deposited into filers' bank accounts.

The agency also said it received nearly 59 million returns during those four weeks - or about 40% of all the returns it expects to get during the 2014.

Related: 12% of Americans say it's OK to cheat on taxes

Typically, those who expect refunds file earlier in the season than those who have to pony up more cash.

A recent survey found that most Americans who expected a refund planned on saving or investing the money, while 21% said they'd use it to pay off debt.

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